By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno
MANILA – The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) has officially named the Philippine women’s football team’s lineup for its historic stint in the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Midfielder Tahnai Annis and defender Hali Long, the team’s primary and secondary captains, headline the final 23-woman roster for the Filipinas.
Also joining are goalkeepers Olivia McDaniel and Kiara Fontanilla, defenders Alicia Barker, Reina Bonta, Malea Cesar, Jessika Cowart, Sofia Harrison, and Dominique Randle, midfielders Ryley Bugay, Anicka Castañeda, Sara Eggesvik, Quinley Quezada, and Jaclyn Sawicki, and forwards Sarina Bolden, Bella Flanigan, Carleigh Frilles, Katrina Guillou, Chandler McDaniel, and Meryll Serrano.
Defender Angela Beard, who once played for the Australian national team, makes her debut as a Filipina. At the same time, Kaiya Jota is listed in the seniors’ group for her stellar career at the youth level.
“This group of 23 represents the best of us, the best of the indomitable Filipino spirit, and I am excited to see them make all of us even prouder,” Jeff Cheng, the Filipinas’ team manager, explained their World Cup composition on Sunday night.
“We congratulate the 23 players who were selected for the Philippines in the FIFA Women’s World Cup and express our gratitude to the players who have committed and sacrificed to make themselves available throughout the selection process,” PFF president Nonong Araneta added.
Inna Palacios, Maya Alcantara, and Bella Pasion have been listed as reserves, while Eva Madarang has not been included in the final lineup.
“It was such an extremely tough choice, but these players were ultimately the ones who put their hands up and impressed the most in recent times and based on current form. They are the ones that my coaching staff and myself think will represent the Filipinas the best and gives us the best possible chance to perform at our peak in the World Cup,”.
The PFF revealed the Filipinas’ World Cup lineup in style.
The federation released a video with young female footballers introducing themselves as the final 23.
Filmed at the PFF National Training Centre in Carmona City in Laguna, the video introduction of the Filipinas’ final World Cup team represents the PFF’s mission to continue the national team’s recent gains through grassroots programs. (PNA)